Northern fur seal pups on St. Paul Island, Alaska. NOAA photo.
Northern fur seals have been declining for decades in their stronghold on St. Paul Island in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands, but their numbers are taking off on Bogoslof Island, a couple hundred miles to the south.
A team of scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service has been camped out on isolated, mile-long Bogoslof, just north of the Aleutian chain, trying to piece together why.
The Polar Pioneer rig in the Chukchi Sea on Aug. 5. Shell Oil photo.
The Obama administration has approved drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
On Monday the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement gave final approval to Shell Oil to drill into oil-bearing rocks in the Chukchi Sea about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright, Alaska. The decision gives the company until late September—about six weeks—to complete this summer’s exploratory drilling.
Dead herring on an Unalaska beach on Wednesday. KUCB/John Ryan photo.
Hundreds of dead herring washed up on Front Beach in downtown Unalaska on Tuesday.
“Hundreds of herring floating in the water,” Caleb Livingston, who lives nearby, said as he was walking his dog Hazel on the beach. “But what really got my attention was the few that drifted on the beach were not being eaten by the eagles, or seagulls or terns.”
The Fennica and its yellow capping stack in Alaska's Dutch Harbor on July 18. KUCB/John Ryan photo.
Shell’s wayward icebreaker made it to the company’s Arctic Ocean drilling site Tuesday. The arrival of the Fennica after a month’s delay means the company could get to drill for oil beneath the Chukchi Sea this summer.
Currently, Shell only has permission to do shallower drilling into non-oil-bearing rocks off Alaska’s northwest coast.
With the Fennica steaming toward the Arctic, Shell submitted an application to the Interior Department on Thursday for permission to drill into deeper, oil-bearing rocks.
The U.S. Coast Guard released video of a man and a pregnant woman spinning up from their Yo Yo and onto a Coast Guard helicopter Sunday. The engine of the Yo Yo, a 29-foot fishing boat based out of Dillingham, was disabled and operating at low power in Bristol Bay off of Togiak.